When you think of strength training, yoga might not be the first thing you think of — but you should!
If you've ever tried yoga, you have probably asked yourself the question:
CAN I BUILD STRENGTH WITH YOGA?
There’s many different styles of yoga, and I feel all styles are amazing. But, my favorite style of yoga, what I LOVE to teach and what has helped me develop strength is vinyasa flow. I have been practicing and teaching vinyasa flow three to four times a week for seven years, and I can honestly say my yoga practice has strengthened my entire body in a way that I could not have attained through “lifting weights” in the gym. I know this because … I used to lift weights. I haven’t lifted a “heavy weight” in ten years. I do barre and yoga only, and I am stronger and my muscle is “leaner” than when I was lifting weights. Plus, yoga and barre classes are much more enjoyable, to me, than lifting weights by myself or with a trainer.
So my answer is from my own experience: "Yes!, you definitely can build muscle with yoga.”
Let me explain how:
Yoga is both body weight training and muscle regeneration. You bring your body into positions and orientations where your muscles need to support you such as downward dog, triangle pose and side plank pose. These are just a few of the yoga poses that require significant strength.
See? You are lifting weights – your own body weight! The great thing about yoga is that you also activate those little muscles you may not see but which make you stand tall and hold all the poses. I plan to blog about barre soon - but if you have attended a barre class, you know that we work one side and then move to the other side in various positions – standing, kneeling, arm balancing – again, using your “own body weight.”
Here are a few reasons why yoga can be a more balanced way to get strong:
• You train all muscles in a well-balanced way, the smaller and bigger ones at the same time, while with weight training you often only train one muscle group at any given time.
• Yoga can help you to perform better the whole day: walking, sitting, bending, lifting heavy things and even sleeping. You move your body in all directions with twists and rotations and not just back and forth. This mobilizes your muscles and joints, keeps them strong and prevents pain.
• It can increase muscle endurance because you hold the poses for a longer period of time in a yoga class.
As you can see, yoga is a good way to build strong and defined muscles. It strengthens your whole body and connects it with your mind, which – to me – is the most important thing.
So, don’t be shy, scared or intimidated about beginning yoga. At The Yoga Barre we have gentle yoga for beginners, hour flow and vinyasa flow , yoga barre fusion and PiYo for those who have had “some” yoga classes. The best piece of advice I can give about beginning your yoga practice or progressing further into your yoga practice is to STAY CONSISTENT! One of my favorite quotes is by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, “Practice and all is coming.”
If you are new to The Yoga Barre, look for our new client offer – 14 days of unlimited classes for $37. If you are attending classes at The Yoga Barre, make sure you are incorporating yoga into your schedule. Yoga and barre complement each other perfectly :)